Sponsored - by Ale-8-One

Written by JC Phelps of JCP Eats.

Hey, y'all!

Will you be my valentine?

In all seriousness, February 14th will be here before we know it. Yes, you read that correctly. Valentine's Day is upon us -- do you have your dinner plans?

If you're in Louisville or Lexington, I have the perfect Kentucky-themed Valentine's idea for you: dine at a restaurant that serves Cherry Ale-8-One! For those unfamiliar with Cherry Ale-8, it was the first new flavor produced by the company since they began bottling The Original in 1926. The best way to describe it is a perfect, irresistible blend of the Ale-8-One secret formula + sweet, ripe cherries (one of the founder's favorite fruits). While it's great during all months of the year, there's no better time to enjoy the red drink than during Valentine's Day!

Now, the question:

What restaurants can you visit and indulge in a Cherry Ale-8-One? Well, I'm glad y'all asked!

Lexington-Area Restaurants

Red State BBQ
4020 Georgetown Rd, Lexington, KY 40511

There's something extremely nostalgic - and overtly Americana - about a roadside attraction and/or stop. If you are lookin' for food that fits that category in the 859, look no further than Red State BBQ. Delicious meats, freshly made sides, and BBQ egg rolls (yes, I'm serious) -- come hungry & you'll leave stuffed. Located in front of the Sunset Motel, I love venturing out to Red State; I think y'all will, too.

Windy Corner Market
4595 Bryan Station Rd, Lexington, KY 40516

Located amidst the gorgeous horse farms of Central KY, Windy Corner Market is another institution from culinary mastermind, Chef Ouita Michel. You'll love the devotion to local farmers, great food, and of course, local drink (Ale-8, y'all). Order a Po-Boy and thank me later.

Atomic Ramen
119 Marion Suite 195 (Summit at Fritz Farm), Lexington, KY 40517

If ramen bowls are your thing (and, well, they should be!), be sure to visit Atomic Ramen, which is located in the Barn at the Summit at Fritz Farm. You'll love the atmosphere of the Barn & a bowl of Chef Dan Wu's ramen is good for the soul.

Ramsey's Diner
4053 Tates Creek Centre Dr, Lexington, KY 40517;
3090 Helmsdale Pl. Suite 270, Lexington, KY 40509

Ask a local about their most beloved restaurant and many will tell you Ramsey's Diner. When I first started exploring the Lexington Dining Scene to a greater extent in college, this was something that I picked up on - and quickly. Ramsey's claims to be "A True Kentucky Tradition"; to say the least, they receive my endorsement on that statement. Order the Hot Brown, which pairs perfectly with Ale-8; or, if you're country like me, pair it with the Double Decker Fried Bologna Sandwich.

Gumbo Ya Ya
1080 S Broadway, Lexington, KY 40504

I fell in love with Gumbo Ya Ya in college and I haven't looked back. Order the crawfish étouffée, which is chock-full of crawfish, tomatoes, onions, garlic, green bell peppers, and celery. I'm drooling at the thought! PS: if you can't make it here for Valentine's Day, visiting for Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday is another great option!

Charlie's Fresh Seafood & Carry Out Restaurant
926 Winchester Rd, Lexington, KY 40505

Tucked away on Winchester Road is Charlie's Fresh Seafood & Carry Out Restaurant. A favorite of many locals, many argue that it's the best fish sandwich in town. You'll love the portion size + the dive atmosphere of the joint. A must stop!

Louisville-Area Restaurants

Danny Mac's Pizza
1860 Mellwood Ave #112, Louisville, KY 40206

A favorite of many Louisvillians, myself included, Danny Mac's is the perfect date for pizza lovers. While I can't resist a slice (or three) when visiting, the magic is in an order of the Breadsticks (known as "Cracksticks"). Trust me, y'all.

Louisville Cream
632 E Market St #101, Louisville, KY 40202

Every date night needs dessert, am I right or am I right? Louisville Cream, which is located in NuLu, has all you could need, want, or desire. The premium, small-batch ice cream features many unique flavors - bourbon pecan is one of my favorites!

Checks BBQ and Blues
14049 Shelbyville Rd, Louisville, KY 40245

This one is for my east-enders. If you're lookin' for great BBQ, a fun atmosphere, and live music (be sure to check the schedule), visit Checks on Shelbyville Rd. As for my recommendation? I'm a brisket kind of guy!

J. Gumbo's (Clifton)
2109 Frankfort Ave., Louisville, KY 40206

Lookin' for comfort food? Visit my friends at J. Gumbo's for authentic, down-home Louisiana cookin': jambalaya, étouffée, voodoo chicken, red beans and rice -- you name it!

Many of my favorite memories involve outings in Kentucky with an Ale-8-One in hand; this Valentine's Day, I wish those same beautiful experiences for both you & your loved ones. Whether you're dining with your significant other, family, or closest friends -- spending time with those that you love most is what it's all about. It'll only be better with a Cherry Ale-8-One. Take my word for it.

As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living.

Y'all come back now, ya hear?

My best,